Endurance Coach – Stephanie Holbrook
Training and Racing – Life is GOOD!
How it all started…
Endurance Coach Stephanie Holbrook
Hello, my name is Stephanie Holbrook. Not your typical athlete and not your typical coach.
I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors, but not necessarily moving fast or anything requiring experience. During my high school years, I was on the varsity golf team. Golf is hardly an intense sport.
My life consisted of I also lived on a ranch and working with cattle as a cowgirl. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I loved the ranch life. I also enjoyed watching independent films and listening to punk music alongside my fellow honor student friends. You might wonder, how does all this lead to becoming an endurance coach?
Scholarships, Army, and Running
Getting scholarships for college is great; some of them have a catch. I received a college ROTC scholarship to attend New Mexico Military Institute. One of the ROTC requirements was to pass the Army Combat Physical Test. The tests include sit-ups, push-ups, and a two-mile run.
The sit-ups and push-ups were easy for me; the run was torture. Oh, if I knew then what I know now about running, life would have been so much easier for me. Back then, I needed a running coach to learn about running form, running technique, and endurance. Alas, nothing like life experiences to being the best teacher.
During my time in ARMY ROTC and as a Commissioned Officer, I dreaded the run on the PT test. When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, I left the Army National Guard and focused on being a mom. Not at all sad that I wouldn’t have to do another PT Test again.
Running for a Cause
I put my running shoes back on when I joined a charity running program to raise funds for cancer research. I was driven to do something challenging to honor the memory of my brother, who died from cancer in 1987.
If Buddy could have endured cancer treatments, I surely could suffer 26.2 miles and raised funds for cancer research and patient aid.
We trained in a group coaching setting. Our knowledgeable coaches provided us with our training schedule and information on exercise physiology. Every week meeting for our long runs, and we would do the short runs on our own.
I was surprised to find that I looked forward to my weekend runs. Our running coaches were so encouraging. It was amazing that my weekly workouts were enjoyable.
Despite my challenges with the later part of training, I got to the start line. Our coaches encouraged us at pasta dinner the night before race day. They were there with us every step of the way. My fellow runners and I went from being couch potatoes to becoming runners and athletes.
Running a marathon is challenging for anyone. Some of those miles were rough, especially toward the end. Encouragement from my running coach on the course and my fellow athletes helped me to push tough. 26.2 miles later, I crossed the finish line. I was later able to run a few ultra marathons as well.
Words can’t express what crossing the finish line meant to me. I experienced a wave of emotion that made me want to do more of just that! I loved it.
If running a marathon is good, then an Ironman Triathlon is better! Right?!!?!. The idea that someone could swim 2.4 miles, bike 114 miles, and run 26.2 miles in a day and still be a functioning human seemed almost unreal.
This was added to my bucket list. I decided to hire a triathlon coach. With a group of friends, I ticked off races leading up to the event. We did a couple of Olympic Distance Triathlons, century bike rides, and a couple of Half-Ironmans (70.3).
These Ironman triathletes must be his accomplishment inspired me to take on more enormous challenges, such as a full-on Ironman triathlon and ultra-marathons. April 14th of 2007, I stood at the start of my first Ironman. 16 hours later, I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.
All that I can say about it is, IT WAS AMAZING! If you want to feel like a real Wonder Woman (or Wonder Man), you MUST DO AN IRONMAN! Seriously, be a rock star for a day, and do an IRONMAN!
Too Much of a Good Thing
After Ironman Arizona, taking on the challenge of running an ultra marathon would be great. Before running ultra marathons, I thought that if I got to the start line, I would cross the finish line with training, will, and determination.
My first ultra was the Pemberton Trail 50k. The atmosphere was so different from the immense Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Ironman events I had done in the past.
Shaving cream was our start line at the Pemberton 50k. This was quite the change from the giant running and triathlon events I have done.
The sense of accomplishment never fades. But some things could be better. Several years of training took their toll on me.
It was getting more challenging to get my workouts in. I was constantly tired, injured, and lost my menstrual cycle. It all added to reactive hypoglycemia, plantar fasciitis, and a runner’s knee. I found out later that I had no hormones.
I was breaking all the endurance athlete rules:
- Rule #1 for endurance athletes: Nothing new on race day
- Rule #2: Don’t get injured.
- Rule #3: All training and no rest equals a broken person.
You might say it was a big “fail” at staying injury free. Started researching what was going on. In short, I was a big mess.
If I wanted to be healthy and continue with endurance sports, I needed to look into alternative information. The mainstream high-carb/low-fat approach to fueling my body was not working.
Trying to find solutions to my health issues. I first found Paleo by listening to Robb Wolf, then found low-carb and keto.
Next, I found a better way to fuel my body, along with the Endurance Planet podcast. They were sounding the alarm about refined carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods and supplements that the mainstream promotes.
I followed their advice and ditched the excessive carbs. This allowed my body to burn fat as its primary source of food.
For the first time in my life, I felt amazing! This must be how I was supposed to feel.
After my insights, I was able to achieve my personal bests. It was amazing to learn about the great tools of training to burn fat and fueling my body to burn fat.
The low-carb diet was a perfect fit for me. I loved how I felt so much that I wanted to share what I learned with others.
Becoming an Endurance Coach
Feeling strong and fit, I wanted to share what I had learned. I became an ACE Personal Trainer. And an Exercise Coach, a Holistic Exercise Coach with the CHEK Institute. I got certified with Ben Greenfield’s Superhuman Coach program.
I was fortunate enough to work with groups of athletes for charity marathons and cycling programs.
My next step was to become a USA Cycling Coach and USA Triathlon Coach. Since then, I have expanded my coaching to encourage more athletes.
It is thrilling to see the progress that my coached athletes make so much progress and reach their personal bests.
Working With Athletes
Many athletes I work with have experienced the same blood sugar issues, problems with bonking, and poor recovery. Many traditionally trained coaches don’t understand how to help athletes with glucose issues.
Through my coach-athlete relationship, I find it thrilling to listen to their concerns and offer guidance to help my clients. Through communication, we map out a plan base building and periodized training to help athletes succeed.
Client success requires looking at all aspects of their life. Of course, a big part of what we discuss is the training schedule delivered through TrainingPeaks.
Sports nutrition for training and racing is crucial for their success. Working with clients to figure out what works best for them. How to use strategic carbs, get enough protein, and how much fat is enough, but not too much.
Other factors we look at are if a client is getting enough rest and recovery, managing their stress, and balancing work, family, and training.
Today, as an endurance sports coach I am fortunate to be able to offer endurance sports coaching online to athletes worldwide. Workouts are delivered through TrainingPeaks, where our sports coaches will track your progress.
Athletes get personal attention through an Annual Training Plan, weekly program updates, and feedback through daily workout analysis.
Running Endurance Coach
Striving to solidify what makes a runner fit, fast, and healthy athlete, I’ve become a Pose Method Running Coach. I can help you with your run form, run economy. You will be set for your first half marathon, train run, or even an ultra marathon.
This continuing education gives me more knowledge to serve my clients if you are a runner. Join us on one of our clinics or take the challenge to Run 2 Miles Per Day.
I might be the perfect coach if you are looking for a professional coach to help you get to the next level.
The first step in the screening process is the athlete questionnaire.
The next step. Let’s connect. Schedule a 15-Minute Consultation to see if we are a good fit.
As a one-on-one coaching client, get unlimited contact to ensure you get expert advice to reach your goals.
Two great options are you have the focus and discipline to train consistently on your own and have the tools to update your training plan.
Who I am Not
There are a few other Stephanie Holbrooks out there.
I’m not Stephanie Holbrook – Casting Director
I’m a USAT and USAC coach. I’ve never been a part of the casting society, I don’t have any current or past film credits. I’ve never been to the Sundance Film Festival or earned an artios award.
No famous people like Jennifer Aniston or Kristen Bell know me. My ordinary world evolves around swimming, biking, and running.
Working as a triathlon coach, I’ve swam in the ocean. Thankfully, I’ve never seen a squid and the whale.
I’m sure Stephanie Holbrook, with her extensive credits and feature film credits is a very nice person. Someday she may want to run a marathon or do a triathlon. She is free to call me.
Let’s Do It Together
Ready To Train?
Do you want to feel like you are on top of the world? Check out my cool gear. Thanks to the amazing work at Rachelle McQuiston.com